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2000 Ford Explorer V6 - Looking For Some Transmission Advice


New Member
January 29, 2019
Reaction score
City, State
Reading Pennsylvania
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000, V6 Ford Explorer
Hi there, first time poster long time lurker.

My Explorer had 120,000 miles on when I bought it, it approaches 180,000 now. That was about fifty thousand miles over the past 3-some years.

It has always shifted well while driving, and has always had a loud clunk when I shift into reverse. Recently I have thought about changing the transmission fluid, but since I'm pretty sure it has never been changed I am afraid to do it.

The car is pretty much pristine, besides a rather loud timing chain (it has been loud since i bought it) i think it has served me well. I would like to drive it as long as i can, but im afraid a transmission fluid and filter change after this long will destroy my transmission.

Can anyone offer some advice on the topic? I can provide more info if needed.



Elite Explorer
October 22, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Huntington Beach, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT, OHV, 4D, 4x4, 5M
I think the risk of leaving the old fluid in there is higher than changing it out. The old fluid eventually will no longer be able to properly lubricate the moving parts, and accelerated wear is guaranteed.

I would drop the pan, change the filter, and reinstall. You may or may not decide to drain the TC. The idea is that you slowly change out the old fluid incrementally instead of doing 100% with a flush machine. Drive it for a week, then drain the pan and refill with fresh fluid. Draining the pan is quick and easy (if a bit messy), or get a fluid pump and suck it out of the dipstick.

Additionally, new Mercon V fluid is much better than the original Mercon that should help keep the transmission healthy for longer.


Explorer Addict
June 6, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4